Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I woke up at 6am but made breakfast (consisting of several cups of coffee and some granola bars) so didn't actually cast off the mooring line until 7am. The anchorage was almost completely devoid of wind but there was a swell coming in that made the boat rock and I knew from past experience that the wind would pick up once I was out of the lee of the big island. I had both sails fully extended and at first it was plain fun with 25 knots of wind from 140° relative and no waves at all and Zanshin I fairly flew across the water at 9 knots. The waves picked up once out of the shelter of St. Kitts and Nevis and there was a well-organized swell pattern of 3 meters with occasionally uncomfortable bigger ones, making the boat roll quite a bit but the strong winds kept the sails full and the boat moving along.
The course line had me go close by Statia and then I detoured a bit to see the windward side of Saba and from there it was a long run to the north end of Virgin Gorda. I decided to skip going through the passage between Prickly Pear and Neckar (principally because I had deleted the track of our previous sail and it was dark and windy and I didn't know if the GPS coordinates were accurate) so I went north of the island, giving The Invisibles a wide berth to port and from there through the North Sound passage. Going through the passage with engine and mainsail I felt the full force of the wind for the first time that night and was thankful that I'd had those 30 knots behind me and pushing instead of having to fight them.

Nevis arrival Approaching the mooring field in Nevis with the cloudforest in the distance.
Nevis arrival
Oil storage on Statia The whole half of the island is closed off due to this large oil storage facility, which also accounts for all of the oil tankers that are constantly underway or anchored offshore.
[17°28'54.01"N 63°3'1.31"W (facing E)]
Oil storage on Statia
Saba in the clouds Saba in the clouds
[17°39'14.4"N 63°16'42.61"W (facing SE)]
Saba in the clouds
Saba approach A commuter aircraft coming down at Saba on a runway that many believed could not be built.
[17°38'38.62"N 63°12'36.81"W (facing W)]
Saba approach
Takeoff at Saba Island A commuter aircraft taking off at Saba Island
[17°38'46.57"N 63°12'55.23"W (facing SW)]
Takeoff at Saba Island
Saba Island Coming closer to Saba, one can see how steep the slope is and how impassable most of the island really is.
[17°39'13.22"N 63°12'25.22"W (facing SW)]
Saba Island
Zanshin I on passage Typical passage picture on Zanshin I going between the BVI and St. Martin... nothing to be seen in any direction.
Zanshin I on passage
Buzzed by the Coast Guard While on passage I was buzzed by this coast guard plane (which I since know is based in St. Martin) a couple of times.
[17°53'51.82"N 63°39'17.22"W ]
Buzzed by the Coast Guard

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